skip to content

Congo


Geography & Topography

Capital: Kinshasa

Population: 75 507 308

Area: 2,345,409 km2

Language: French (official language); Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili and Tshiluba (national languages)

Religion: Christians (96%), Muslim (1.5%), and 2.5% adhered other religions

Currency: Congolese Franc (CDF)

History

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in central Africa; its borders are shared with the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi to the east; Zambia and Angola to the south, the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

By 1996, tensions from the neighboring Rwandan war and genocide had spilled over to The Republic of Congo. The Tutsi militias erupted in rebellion against the government. This was the beginning of the first war in Congo in 1998. The conflict was stopped when the UN and the peacekeepers arrived in April 2001. The wide range of ethnic groups present in the country form a very diverse culture.

Performing Arts

Music

Congo has multiple dialects and around 500 ethnic groups. This diversity has influenced the musical style and the singing over the years and has been passed on to younger generations.

This tribal music has a diversified instrumentation, varied rhythms, colored melodies, and diverse sources of inspiration. The traditional folk music contains essentially two voices, the alto and the soprano, with a vocal style adopted by some contemporary musicians .

Lokole

The soukous is a traditional music style that comes from Zaire (ancient name for the Democratic Republic of the Congo). It takes its roots from the Cuban rumba of the 50’s. It mixes the rhythm of kwasa kwasa with the souk dance and the Congolese rumba.

The most recognizable traditional instruments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are:

The lokole: It’s a traditional percussion instrument from Congo, also called tam-tam. The music is made by hitting the instrument with the hands or a drum stick in a certain rhythm to create a melody. The lokole is usually made of wood.

Dance:

 

Considering the wide range of ethnic groups present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is also a wide range of different types of traditional dances in this country.

Rumba: The rumba is a dance which is executed by two embraced dancers. It suggests a real love scene. The rumba comes from Cuba, and has been raised by the Congolese to the rank of mythical dance of the modern Congolese music. It is the most popular dance of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Kwasa Kwasa: The kwasa kwasa is an African dance of the Democratic Republic of Congo where the hips move back and forth while the hands follow the hips. This dance has been created by Pepe Kalle and has been made famous thanks to his video clips.

Some interesting facts

  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the third-largest country of Africa.
  • The country celebrates its ‘Independence Day’ on the 30th of June every year. Democratic Republic of Congo received its independence from Belgium on the 30th of June, 1960.
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo with its strong population of 68 million, is the eighteenth most populated country in the world and most populated country where French is an official language.
  • The government is a semi-presidential republic with a president and a prime minister.
  • Only 46% of the country has access to safe drinking water.

 

Congolese community in Australia

 

 

More information on the Congolese community.